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Thursday 17 April 2014

Nicolas Roche slips to sixth in the Pyrenees

Nicholas Roche wearing the green points jersey during yesterday's stage 4 of the Vuelta. Today Roche will switch to King of the Mountains jersey
Nicholas Roche slipped down in the Pyrenees

Italy's Daniele Ratto overcame horrendous weather conditions to triumph in an attritional stage 14 of the Vuelta a Espana, while compatriot Vincenzo Nibali finished second to extend his lead in the general classification standings.

Cannondale rider Ratto battled against cold temperatures and rain in the mountains to record his first victory as a professional, finishing in a time of four hours and 24 minutes in the 156-kilometre stage from Baga to Andorra-Collada de la Gallina.

Nibali finished three minutes and 53 seconds further back having stayed on the wheel of Chris Horner, with the holder of the red jersey then overtaking the American in the final metres of the race to finish second.

That helped the Italian increase his overall lead to 50 seconds, with Horner now his closest challenger and Spain's Alejandro Valverde 1min 42secs adrift in third, while a poor stage from Nicolas Roche saw the Irishman slip four places to sixth in the standings 4mins 6secs behind Nibali.

Ivan Basso, who was seventh before Saturday's stage, was forced to retire from the race on the Envalira descent, with his Cannondale team confirming the 35-year-old was suffering from hypothermia.

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